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Health & Fit A Majority of The World’s Teens Aren't Getting Enough Physical Activity

02:50  22 november  2019
02:50  22 november  2019 Source:   time.com

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Research has linked physical activity to alleviating symptoms of depression; lowering risk of heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and obesity But the first global country-by-country report on teenagers ’ physical activity suggests that the vast majority of the world ’ s teens aren ’ t getting the message.

Teenagers worldwide are jeopardizing their health by failing to get enough exercise to reduce their risk of obesity and cardiovascular diseases, warns a World "These two phenomenon are of concern. We need to do more if we want to halt the rise in obesity … and promote better rates of physical activity ."

Public health experts have worked hard to remind us about the importance of exercise—for mental as well as physical health. Research has linked physical activity to alleviating symptoms of depression; lowering risk of heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and obesity; and living longer.

a person sitting on a couch© Hero Images—Getty Images/Hero Images

But the first global country-by-country report on teenagers’ physical activity suggests that the vast majority of the world’s teens aren’t getting the message. In a study published Nov. 21 in Lancet Child & Adolescent Health, researchers at the World Health Organization (WHO) analyzed the results of surveys that included 1.6 million adolescents aged 11 to 17 years from 146 countries in 2001 and then again in 2016. The teens answered questions about how much physical activity they got in school as well as on their own. Overall, 81% of the adolescents did not meet the WHO recommendations of one hour of moderate to vigorous activity a day in 2016.

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Four in five adolescents worldwide do not get enough physical activity , to the detriment of their health, the World Health "We absolutely need to do more or we will be looking at a very bleak health picture for these adolescents," study co-author Leanne Riley told journalists ahead of the launch.

9 out of 10 teens don' t get enough exercise. By Amy Norton. A strength of this study, he said, is that it objectively measured teens ’ activity levels: They wore devices called accelerometers “Any way that we can increase physical activity levels in adolescence might translate into maintaining higher

“It’s not a surprise how high the rates [of inactivity] are,” says Fiona Bull, program lead for physical activity in the department of health promotion at WHO and senior author of the study. “What is disappointing is that the efforts that have been made are not reaching the scale or impact that we would want, and the levels of inactivity remain high. That’s a great concern.”

At the current rate, Bull notes, the WHO’s World Health Assembly’s goal of reducing teen inactivity by 15% globally by 2030 likely won’t be met. Further, while rates of inactivity for boys dropped slightly from 2001 to 2016, the rates for girls didn’t change. “The results point to an urgency to act, and a realization that what we are doing is not enough,” says Bull.

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A Majority of The World ’ s Teens Aren ' t Getting Enough Physical Activity . In the first wide-ranging global report on inactivity among teens , researchers found that being physically active is the exception rather than the norm.

The majority are getting enough sleep but half are too sedentary and only about a third get enough physical activity . It' s recommended that kids and youth get 60 minutes per day of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity and spend no more than two hours a day with digital screens.

For the first time, the inactivity was tracked by country and region, so the researchers could better understand where exercise rates are lowest.

Those data need to be considered in context, however, since the reason for higher rates of inactivity may be different in different parts of the world. Overall, the highest rates were found in high-income Asian countries; in fact, among girls, South Korea had the highest rate of inactivity, with 97% not meeting WHO guidelines. In those regions, Bull suspects two factors may be contributing to the lack of activity there: one, the explosive growth of the economy which has fueled an increased use of digital and screen-based technologies that keep children sedentary, and two, a culture that prioritizes education over physical activity.

In other parts of the world, other factors—such as poverty, malnutrition and fewer resources—may be driving high rates of inactivity as schools aren’t able to provide regular physical education programs.

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Most adolescents aren ' t getting enough exercise as screen time increasingly replaces physical activity in homes across the world , putting their Willumsen said urban planning can boost physical activity by placing schools within a walkable distance of the vast majority of the population or

Given that most children aren ' t getting the physical activity they need, we look at families who have come up with creative ways to get their kids moving. Why our kids aren ' t active enough . One of the key concerns researchers had was that kids had too many extra-curricular activities , leaving little

The greatest improvements in lowering rates of inactivity among teens from 2001 to 2016 occurred in Bangladesh, Singapore, Thailand, Benin, Ireland and the U.S., although in all of these cases, the drops were relatively small, maxing out at around five percentage points.

The results of the study highlight the need to reassess current efforts to get adolescents to exercise, starting with school programs, says Bull. Emphasizing the importance of physical education in schools could help students adopt good exercise habits that remain with them when they become adults. It’s also important that schools offer a variety of exercise options that could appeal to a range of individual preferences, and go beyond traditional team sports-based programs. “The boy-girl differences in inactivity show us we need to think carefully and innovatively about what girls and boys enjoy and want to participate in,” she says. “The solutions are local, but this is a global problem.”

That means local communities should also prioritize physical activity by providing resources to make both traditional and non-traditional forms of exercise affordable and accessible, like parks, sidewalks (which have been shown to make it safer to walk around urban areas), and bike-sharing programs. “It’s going to be a challenge to reach the 2030 goal” says Bull. “It will require the whole community [and] whole society to change.”

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